The best argument a lawyer can make is that their client was not operating the vehicle regardless of whether they are intoxicated or not. Many times cases in Oakland County are taken to trial when the defendant argues that they were not driving the vehicle. This issue comes up all the time as many cases involve officers arriving to a crash scene and nobody saw the defendant drive.
A good example of this is a jury trial Jim Amberg once won where Jim's client called the police after his friend in the backseat of his vehicle kicked out the back windshield and strode out into the night. When the officers questioned Jim's client, he responded by indicating that he "traveled" from the bar to the gas station where he had called the cops. Because there was another person involved, Jim argued that traveled didn't mean the same thing as drove. The jury came back in five minutes with a not guilty verdict and the judge almost fell out of his chair in shock!
Another argument involving operating a vehicle is when somebody is discovered in their vehicle intoxicated. Jim has successfully argued in Oakland County at jury trial that somebody on the side of the road, even if their foot is on the brake and the car is running, is not operating and instead the prosecutor has to prove that at some point prior, the person must have driven.